Finding the Best Orientation of the Educational Buildings in Hot Arid Regions in Iran, in order to achieve theOptimum Annual Energy Consumption, Using Computer Simulation (Case Study: a Double Class School in Zahedan)

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Architecture, Zahedan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Zahedan, Iran

2 Department of Architecture, Jundi-Shapur University of Technology, Dezful, Iran

3 Department of Architecture, Faculty of Art and Architecture, University of Zabol, Zabol, Iran


School buildings forming a large part of the public buildings, are among the most important consumers of energy in Iran. Given the existing construction conditions, these buildings seem to have considerable potential for energy efficiency if the construction and design methods are reformed. Therefore, numerous researchers have analyzed geometrical factors influencing energy consumption in buildings, but few researchers have specifically and precisely studied building orientation. In this research, a two-classroom school with a simple and extendable plan, typical of hot and arid regions in Iran was studied. The objective is to conclude optimum orientation for minimum energy demand, taking into consideration the provision of a thermally comfortable environment inside. Building performance simulation (using Design Builder  software) was applied to support design optimization. To this end, 72 models were simulated in different directions with a 5-degree variance, and the 10-degree range of the minimum annual energy consumption was obtained. Afterward, the simulation with the 1-degree variance was repeated using the same range and the results were compared. Finally, it was suggested that the model with the orientation of 109  degrees longitudinal yields the minimum energy consumption. Other methods of saving energy in this region were also discussed.  Consequently, the comparison of the results revealed that the effect of building orientation on reducing annual energy consumption in Zahedan is noticeable, considering the number of typical buildings and life span of the buildings.


1)       Diakaki, C., Grigoroudis, E., Kolokotsa, D. (2008). Towards a multi-objective optimization approach for improving energy efficiency in buildings, Energy and Buildings, 40(9): 1747-1754.
2)       Sozer, H. (2010). Improving energy efficiency through the design of the building envelope, Building and Environment, 45(12): 2581-2593.
3)       Carroll, D. (1982). Energy consumption and conservation in buildings: an international comparison, Proc. 3rd Int. Symp. Energy Conservation in the Built Environment, Vol. 1A, CIB/an Foras Forbartha, Dublin, pp. 190 - 203.
4)       Kolokotsa, D., Rovas, D., Kosmatopoulos, E., Kalaitzakis, K. (2011). A roadmap towards intelligent net zero- and positive-energy buildings, Solar Energy, 85(12): 3067-3084.
5)       Robert, A., Kummert, M. (2012). Designing net-zero energy buildings for the future climate, not for the past, Building and Environment, 55:150-158.
6)       Ministry of Energy, Electricity, and Energy Macro-Planning Department. (2013). The energy balance sheet of 2011. Tehran, Electricity and Energy Department of Ministry of Energy. (in Persian)
7)       Development and Promotion of National Building Regulations Office. (2009). Iranian Building Regulations, Code 19: Reducing Energy Consumption, Tehran, Tose’h Iran Publications. (in Persian)
8)       Iranian Fuel Conservation Organization. (2009). Modification of Energy Consumption Patterns in Schools and Offices (in Persian).
9)       Im, P., Haberl, J. (2006). A survey of high performance schools, Proceedings of the Fifteenth Symposium on Improving Building Systems in Hot and Humid Climates, Orlando, FL, July 24-26, 2006.
10)   Kasmaee, M. (1994). Climatic Zoning of Iran for Educational Buildings, School Development and Mobilization Organization Affiliated to the Ministry of Education, Tehran, Iran.
11)   Joshghani, M.(2001). Cooling and heating energy consumption in school buildings, Organization for Development Renovation and Equipping Schools of Iran, journal of New School, 26:18-20. (in Persian).
12)   Laustsen, J. (2008). Energy Efficiency Requirements in Building Codes, Energy Efficiency Policies for New Buildings, IEA information paper, International Energy Agency, OECD/IEA, Communication and Information Office, Paris.
13) Oberkampf, W. L., Trucano, T.G. (2002). Verification and validation in computational fluid dynamics, Progress in Aerospace Sciences, 38(3): 209-272.

14)   Susorova, I., Tabibzadeh, M., Rahman, A., Clack, H.L., Elnimeiri, M. (2013). The effect of geometry factors on fenestration energy performance and energy savings in office buildings, Energy and Buildings 57:6-13.

15)   Hashemi Rafsanjani, L., Mahdavinejad, M.J.(2015). The Role of Functional Flexibility to Improve Energy Efficiency in Energy Consumption of the Case Borojerdiha house in Kashan, Space Ontology International Journal 13 (4): 71-77.
16)   Steadman, P. (2014). Building Types and Built Forms, Troubador Publishing Ltd: Leicester, UK.
17)   Montenegro, E., Potvin, A., Demers, C. (2012). Impact of school building typologies on visual, thermal and energy performances, a conference paper in Proceedings of the Passive and Low Energy in Architecture (PLEA), Lima, Peru, 7–9 November 2012.
Conference: Opportunities, Limits & Needs Towards an environmentally responsible architecture, At Lima, Peru, Volume: Passive and Low Energy in Architecture (PLEA)
18)   Da Graça, V. A. C., Kowaltowski, D. C. C. K., Petreche, J.R.D. (2007). An evaluation method for school building design at the preliminary phase with optimisation of aspects of environmental comfort for the school system of the State São Paulo in Brazil, Building and Environment, 42(2): 984-999.
19)   Dimoudi, A., Kostarela, P. (2009). Energy monitoring and conservation potential in school buildings in the C′ climatic zone of Greece, Renewable Energy, 34(1): 289-296.
20)   Cantón, M.A., Ganem, C., Barea, G., Fernández Llano, J. (2014). Courtyards as a passive strategy in semi dry areas. Assessment of summer energy and thermal conditions in a refurbished school building, Renewable Energy, 69: 437-446.
21)   Su, B. (2013). Impacts of building design factors on Auckland school energy consumptions. International Journal of Civil, Environmental, Structural, Construction and Architectural Engineering, World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, 7 (12): 927-933.
22)   Zhang, A., Bokel, R., Dobbelsteen, A. V. D., Sun, Y., Huang, Q., Zhang, Q. (2017). Optimization of thermal and daylight performance of school buildings based on a multi-objective genetic algorithm in the cold climate of China, Energy and Buildings,139: 371-384.
23)   Ouf, M.M., Issa, M.H. (2017). Energy consumption analysis of school buildings in Manitoba, Canada, International Journal of Sustainable Built Environment, 6 (2): 359-371.
24)   Lou, S., Tsang, E .K.W., Li, D. H.W.  Lee, E.W.M.  Lam, J.C. (2017). Towards Zero Energy School Building Designs in Hong Kong, Energy Procedia, 105: 182-187.
25)   Wang, J.Ch. (2016). A study on the energy performance of school buildings in Taiwan, Energy and Buildings, 133: 810-822.
26)   Tahsildoost, M., Zomorodian, Z.S. (2015). Energy retrofit techniques: An experimental study of two typical school buildings in Tehran, Energy and Buildings, 104: 65-72.

27)   Sedigh Ziabari, S.H., Zolgagharzadeh, H., Asadi Malek Jahan, F., Salavatian, S.M. (2019). Comparative Study on the Influence of Window To Wall Ratio on Energy Consumption and Ventilation Performance in Office Building of Temperate Humid Climate: a Case Study in Rasht, Space Ontology International Journal, 8(2):33-42.
28)   Zomorodian, Z.S., Nasrollahi, F. (2013). Architectural design optimization of school buildings for reduction of energy demand in hot and dry climates of Iran. Int. J. Archit. Eng. Urban Plan, 23:41–50.
29)   Odunfa K.M., Dare, A.A., Adeaga, O.A., Babalola, P.O.(2013). Effect of Building Orientation on Energy Conservation, Online journal of Architecture and building technology, 1:1-5.
30)   ElAzhary, K., Ouakarrouch, M., AlaouiSosse, J., Laaroussi, N., Garoum, M. (2019). Impact of Orientation on the Thermal Performances in Vernacular Buildings in Hot Arid Climate, International Journal of Engineering and Advanced Technology (IJEAT), 9(2):4840-4847
31)   Al-Arja, O., Awadallah, T. (2016). Energy consumption optimization in schools sector in Jordan, Architectural Science Review, 59(5):400-412. DOI:10.1080/00038628.2015.1012637
32)   N. T. Shabankareh, K., Khosrowshahi, M. Qolampour, M. (2008). The vegetative territory of desert areas of Hormozgan Province, Iranian Journal of Range and Desert Research. 15(1):95-113. (in Persian)
33)   Khosrowshahi, M., Kalirad, A. (2013). A research approach to the extent and area of Iran deserts, journal of Jangal va marta. 98: 20-27. (in Persian)
34)   Pirnia, M. k. (2005). An introduction to the Islamic-Iranian architecture (city and outlying buildings), Edited by Qolam Hussein Me’marian, Tehran, Soroush Danesh. (in Persian)
35)   Rezazadeh Ardebili, M., Shafiei, M. (2016). Lessons from the Past: Climatic Response of Iranian Vernacular Houses to Hot Climate Conditions, Space Ontology International Journal, 5(4):15-28.
36)   Crawley, D.B., Hand, J.W, Kummert, M., Griffith, B.T. (2008). Contrasting the capabilities of building energy performance simulation programs, Building and Environment, 43: 661–673.
37)   Crawley, D. B., Lawrie, L.K., Winkelmann, F. C., Buhl, W.F., Huang, Y.J., Pedersen, C.O., Strand, R.K., Liesen, R. J., Fisher, D. E., Witte, M. J., Glazer, J. (2001). Energy Plus: creating a new-generation building energy simulation program, Energy and Buildings, 33(4): 319-331.
38)   Tronchin, L., Fabbri, K. (2008). Energy performance building evaluation in Mediterranean countries: Comparison between software simulations and operating rating simulation, Energy and Buildings, 40(7): 1176-1187.
39)   Zomorodian, Z. S., Tahsildoost, M. (2015). Validating building energy simulation software: An empirical comparative approach, Iran Energy Journal, 18th year, 4:115-132. (in Persian).
40)   Kasmaee, M. (2003) Climate and architecture, 2nd edition, Isfahan, Khak Publications. (in Persian)
41)   Presidential Office for Management and Planning Organization. (2018). Iran’s Statistical Yearbook - 2016, Statistical Center of Iran, Office of the Head, Public Relations and International cooperation. (in Persian)
42)   ASHRAE. (2007). Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality, Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.
43)   ASHRAE. (2009). ASHRAE Handbook: Fundamentals, Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.
44)    Rea, M.S. (2000). The IESNA Lighting Handbook: Reference & Application; Illuminating Engineering Society of North America: New York, NY, USA.
45)   Mahlabani, Y., Faizi, G., Khakzand, M. (2011). Lighting program and iranian schools lighting requirements, International Journal of Architectural Engineering & Urban Planning, 21:1-11.
46)   Watson, D., Labs, K. (2010). Climatic design: Theoretical and practical principles of energy use in buildings. Translated by Ghobadian, V. & Feyz Mahdavi, M., Tehran, University of Tehran Press. (in Persian)
47)   American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers . (1981). ASHRAE handbook, fundamentals: an instrument of service prepared for the profession containing a technical data section of reference material pertaining to systems for heating, refrigerating, ventilating, and air conditioning.
Website references:
 1), accessed: 1/20/2019.
The interview with the Head of Organization for Development, Renovation, and Equipping Schools, July 27, 2009, accessed 1/25/2019.